Saturday 21st May 2022

Women Of Courage Series. #49. Rosemarie. 61/2020.

Women Of Courage Series. #49. Rosemarie. 61/2020.

Trigger: miscarriage and infant death.


A series of blog posts on Denyse Whelan Blogs to be found here from mid-May 2019: Wednesdays: each week until the series concludes in 2020.

Here is the introduction to the series.

Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda.


I have yet to meet Rosemarie, who is in her late 40s. However, we have connected! It was at Newcastle Writers Festival, where Rosemarie is the founding director  and that is where I heard Jane Caro speak  in 2019 and which was the beginning of the series of posts called Women of Courage. When 2020 Newcastle Writers Festival was cancelled due to COVID 19, I was saddened but of course that was the case for everyone to do with the much anticipated Festival. Yet, Rosemarie rallied and organised a series of on-line and web-based events which were a great way to remain connected to the great love shared between authors, and their words…their books. I was chuffed that Rosemarie agreed to share her story of courage. And thank her for the way in which she has done so. We will meet up I am sure!


What have you faced in your life where you have had to be courageous?

The loss of two babies in the second trimester and the decision to try and have another baby afterwards required enormous courage.

In both instances, I went into premature labour and was forced to give birth knowing my baby would not survive.

The first time, when I lost my son Joe, medicos described it as an unfortunate but not uncommon occurrence.

The circumstances were particularly traumatic and the timing – a week before our wedding – meant that it took us almost a year before we were ready to take the risk again.

I then had a healthy baby boy and we didn’t look back.

My biological clock was ticking so we decided to try again quite quickly for another baby, buoyed by the trouble-free pregnancy and birth of our second son.

When I was 18 weeks along with my daughter, I was woken by the familiar onset of labour.

Contractions are not easily mistaken.

I remember going to the bathroom at the back of the house to phone the hospital.

The midwife said they had a room for me and to come in as soon as possible.

I wept, and waited for as long as possible before waking my husband.

I don’t think we – or anyone else – thought we would ever have another baby.

I remember holding my tiny, perfectly formed daughter, who we named Alice, and realising that I could not bear for her to be my only daughter.

So, with the support of a brilliant obstetrician and the guidance of another specialist whose area of expertise was miscarriage, we tried again.

My second daughter will be 10 in September and she represents the courage I managed to draw on a decade ago.



How did this change you in any way? Please outline further if this has been the case.

It may sound strange, but I remember feeling that a lot of my ‘every day’ fears were unnecessary.

I had faced arguably one of the worst things a woman could experience – enduring giving birth to two babies I knew could not survive – and worrying about the appearance of a wrinkle, or being attacked by a shark while swimming at the beach, suddenly seemed so silly.

I let go of a lot.

I didn’t feel naively invincible, but I felt like I had the ability to face whatever life threw at me.


Is there something you learned from this that you could recommend to help others who need courage?

The whole experience demonstrated to me that there are few things more soul-destroying than the loss of hope.

When you’re in the midst of a crisis, it can be hard to hold on to the idea of a future, but if you can put one foot in front of the other, more often than not, you will make it through.


Do you think you are able to be more courageous now if the life situation calls for it? Why is that?

See above.


Is there any message you would give to others facing a situation where courage could be needed?

I was lucky to have the support of my partner, family and friends, but ultimately you have to rummage up the courage from within.

As an avid reader, it helped me to turn to books by other women who had endured challenges.

While everyone’s circumstances are different, reassurance can be contagious.


Thank you for sharing what happened during this time, Rosemarie. There is a sadness that never quite lifts, of course, but I found comfort in the ways in which you not only named your children but included them in your family life. I have learned from you too that there is indeed comfort in the stories of others and thank you for your generosity and frankness in sharing your story of courage.


Social Media:


Twitter: @RosemarieMilsom

Instagram: @rosemariemilsom

Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14 – Crisis Support and Suicide …


Joining each Wednesday with Sue and Leanne here for Mid Life Share the Love Linky.

On Thursdays I link here for Lovin Life with Leanne and friends.

Copyright © 2020 – All rights reserved.



  1. Hi Rosemary and Denyse, I can only imagine your heartbreak losing two precious babies like that. I don’t think we ever really get over it, but it does develop our inner strength that much more. Thankyou for sharing your story, regards Christina

    • Thank you so much Christina. Rosemarie’s story was one of heartache and then courage…and then love. Of course, never ever forgetting her children who did not live.


    • Thank you Christina. Both my children have their siblings’ names as middle names. It was important for us not to conceal what we’d been through.

  2. Hi Rosemarie – I’m so sorry for the loss of your two beautiful babies. I can’t begin to imagine what that would have been like, but I am aware of how fortunate I was to have both of mine relatively unscathed. Your courage to try again speaks highly of your family values and knowing what was worth fighting for – I’m sure you value your family even more for what it has cost you.

    • It is a story of courage and like you say, hard to even imagine, yet Rosemarie lived it with her dear children who did not make it.

      Her words remind us to be grateful for all we can, each and every day.

      Thank you so much Leanne.


    • Thank you Leanne. There are moments when I look at my son and daughter and realise that if Joe and Alice were here, they wouldn’t be. I definitely treasure them.

  3. Hi Rosemary – I can’t imagine the pain you’ve been through having lost two of your babies. I think that is a grief you would carry forever but over time learn to live with. You have most certainly been a courageous women. It would have been so scary to try again for a baby. Thank you for sharing your story with us. xo

    • I agree Min. So much of us would be saying ” no, not again” but then, look what happened…you can never be certain of any outcome when we try for the unknown.

      I am glad Rosemarie shared her courage and her story.

      Thank you.


    • Thank you for your kind words Min. My sister died tragically after I lost my daughter and her death meant that all hope was lost. It was profoundly sad and so when Alice died I felt strongly that I could not lose hope again. It’s soul destroying. That gave me the courage to try again.

  4. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful babies Rosemarie. Thankyou for sharing your courageous story.

  5. Thanks for sharing Rosemarie’s story Denyse. What a heartbreaking but ultimately brave woman Rosemarie is, to have gone through this heartbreak and continued on with strength. I so feel for her as a mother but appreciate her words of courage. #mlstl

  6. What a story … so courageous, indeed